Common Problems of Exhaust System

When your vehicles are more than 5 years old, it is a good idea to have a thorough inspection of the exhaust system or automotive services every year to check steel pipe for leaks and other damage.

Exhaust System

The exhaust system is vital to any vehicle because the life and performance of the vehicle’s engine depends on it. A superior exhaust system is necessary for any type of vehicle. Because the engines of such vehicles can give off exhaust gas more freely and are capable of more power than normal engines. Exhaust system is a important assembly in a vehicle’s engine which takes care of the burnt gas. This system contains exhaust pipes, header, catalytic converter, muffler and turbocharger. Exhaust gas toxic fumes produced by engine during internal combustion flow through exhaust pipes, from one chamber to another. Header collects the same gas from different cylinders and directs it to the pipes. Catalytic converter converts the pollutant gases produced during combustion into less harmful substances. As for muffler, it help to reduce engine noise. Turbocharger increases engine power. With the help of these exhaust system parts, your car’s engine operates more efficiently and therefore gives better vehicle performance.

When having trouble with your car’s exhaust, it’s important to get it repair right away since these problems tend to get worse with time goes by. And let alone the longer you wait, the more it will cost to repair. Loud noise isn’t the only concern when you have a damaged exhaust: The rattle you hear is really annoying, but it is a significant sign that the fumes from your vehicle’s exhaust are not being routed away from your car properly. Exhaust leaks cause a rattle sound as well and you could have exhaust fumes coming into your car from a damaged pipe.


Common Problems of Exhaust System

Most exhaust problems can be found by paying attention to unfamiliar sounds or taking a look underneath the car. Because one of the most common signs is a rattle coming from your vehicle while you driving. When you hear a rattle, it could be caused by numerous things. Is your muffler rattling? If so, you need to think some of the possible causes and your repair options.

  1. Rust

Rust is the No. 1 enemy of exhaust systems. It is a big one but not the only one. Though aluminized steel and stainless steel for exhaust system components are widely used, rust is still a major cause of exhaust system problems.

Frequent short trips allow water vapor to collect in the exhaust system which doesn’t get hot enough to burn it off. And this allows condensation and rust that works its way from the inside out. Accumulation of rain, snow, salt and other road crud can create holes in mufflers, pipes, resonators and catalytic converters from the outside and also corrode flanges, connectors and heat shields. Misfiring spark plugs, wayward ignition timing and oil or antifreeze in the exhaust system also can damage catalytic converters.

The loud sound of a muffler rattle can be fixed simply by tightening a couple of bolts or replacing a broken hanger. However, when the corrosion is bad enough on the muffler or neighboring parts, you must replace them in time. Exhaust work is a big and tough job. Unless you have the right training and experience, you’d better left to the professionals.


  1. Muffler Damage

Mufflers contain perforated tubes or baffled chambers that create opposing sound waves when sound waves travel into the muffler. These opposing waves partially cancel out most of the original loud noise. In most cars, muffler is installed in line with the exhaust pipe. Muffler helps to minimize the noise that comes from a car’s engine. If you are hearing a loud sound like pieces of metal contacting each other, it usually means that something is touching the exhaust pipe. Loose bracket, rubber hanger or connector can make a muffler rattle as the exhaust pipe bangs against another part of your vehicle when you accelerate or drive on bumpy roads.

A loose muffler can allow excessive movement in other components as well and increase the stress on those parts, so it can become more than an annoying noise if left unattended. If the muffler is hanging lower than normal, there’s also a risk that it could be broken off by hitting a bump or going over railroad tracks. A rattle noise from the exhaust system might be an internal problem. Baffles or other components inside of mufflers can come loose and cause rattles, too. As a result, it is extremely important to repair muffler problems as quickly as possible.

Also, the muffler may not be the only cause. Brackets and bolts securing tailpipes, heat shields above catalytic converters and other components come loose, and catalytic converters when they go bad which also can cause annoying sounds.

  1. Exhaust leak

While a loud rattling or rumbling sound is the most common sign, there are a few other things to check for. Get under your car and inspect the pipes that make up the exhaust. Do you see any rust or other damage? Pay close attention to the muffler itself and the heat shield. Are there any visible signs of damage? If you start to notice decreased efficiency, you could have an exhaust leak in a pipe or a damaged muffler.

If you ignore and drive with your exhaust leak for a while and then find your vehicle sounds like someone is shaking a box of rocks when idling, it may be a sign that your catalytic converter is damaged. It means you have waited too long to check the exhaust system. Also, driving with an exhaust leak is potentially dangerous as the fumes contain carbon monoxide. So it is important to repair the exhaust leak.

Having a good exhaust system is as vital as having healthy lungs. So even if just one part of your performance exhaust system gets damaged, replace it immediately.